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Ostseebad Sellin, Bild: LaMiaFotografia / shutterstock

Rügen – Symphony in Blue and White

The island of Rügen is the land of the painter Casper David Friedrich, the land of castles and graceful spa architecture – the wide land by the sea.

Important artists were inspired by the beauty of this island: rugged rocky coasts, extensive sandy beaches with white dune chains, lively seaside resorts and a magnificent coastal landscape form a varied landscape.

Under the spell of nature – coast, chalk cliffs, seaside resorts

Rügen is the largest island in Germany and its gateway is Stralsund. The mighty Rügen Bridge leads to the island, which has a 1000-year history of settlement. Like nowhere else in northern Germany, the early historic megalithic tombs and the remains of early cultures visible in many places are piling up. On long walks, bike tours or hikes, you will notice: Rügen has many faces.

The most contrasting landscapes come together in a very small space – only the water is omnipresent. No point on Rügen is further than 8 kilometres from the sea. The rugged coastline sometimes seems endless. The scenic highlight is undoubtedly the imposing cliffs with their white chalk cliffs. The chalk coast of the Stubbenkammer with the King’s Chair is an obligatory postcard motif. The great Romantic Caspar David Friedrich was fascinated by the sight of them and painted them more than once.

One thing is certain: Rügen is not only a Baltic Sea dream for sea dogs. Unique flint fields, numerous sea bays, fine sandy beaches, peninsulas and headlands framed by heath, dunes, beech and pine forests form an enchanting landscape. Shady avenues stretch for miles across the island. Lively as well as quiet seaside resorts enrich this landscape, which is waiting to be discovered with its castles, piers and historical features. In the Schmale Heide nature reserve you can find similar things: flint walls up to 25 meters wide and one meter high. Scientists assume that the stones were deposited there after large storm surges.

Between the first autumn storms, you can see people walking bent over on the coast, unable to lift their eyes from the ground – they are looking for a completely different stone. Fossil resins that are more than a million years old shimmer on the coasts and attract many amber seekers.

The “gold of the Baltic Sea” is still in demand. Not far from the “Schmale Heide”, the unmistakable silhouette of the former hunting lodge of the Princes of Putbus rises on the densely wooded Tempelberg. The Granitz hunting lodge – in the style of northern Italian Renaissance castles – was once a popular destination for European nobles. The central tower of the building, which was built in 1836, offers a magnificent panoramic view. After these wonderful impressions, it is worth taking a trip under green roofs to the most beautiful places on the island. The path leads along the German Avenue Road, where you first reach the small capital Bergen in the heart of the island.

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Rügen – Of beautiful cities and dreamy fishing villages

All roads converge in Bergen, the city is the geographical center of the island. The island’s capital bears its name rightly: you first have to overcome a small hill to get to the center. Worth seeing are St. Mary’s Church, the Benedix House or the Parish Widow’s House – a half-timbered house that offered lifelong right of residence to parish widows. A magnificent view is offered from the top of the Ernst Moritz Arndt Tower.

Soon the proud seaside resorts of Binz, Sellin, Göhren and Baabe beckon. The lidos, which come with a slightly weathered charm, invite you to linger. White buildings with wooden verandas, richly decorated balconies and decorative columns flatter the eye of the beholder. In addition, impressive piers that protrude far out to sea. Binz is the most elegant place on the island – white villas with facades like those of a confectioner underline the magnificent spa architecture. A stroll along the lakeside promenades is always worthwhile. Chic boutiques, hotels and restaurants line this coastal hoop.

Image: beckart / shutterstock

In the northernmost centre of the island lies Sassnitz, the oldest seaside resort on the east coast. Many celebrities stayed here in the 19th century, including Johannes Brahms, Theodor Fontane and the imperial family. Since 1897, the ferries have been running from Sassnitz on the King’s Line to Trelleborg in Sweden.
The variety of cities is rounded off by Putbus. The former Slavic settlement and later princely residence is now considered the cultural capital of the island. Architecturally valuable old buildings are reminiscent of the splendour of the 19th century.

On the other hand, the former fishing village of Lohme enchants with a fantastic location directly on the north coast of Rügen. The picturesque Lohme offers a unique panorama of sunrises and sunsets on a high, wooded cliff with a magnificent view of the bay of the Tromper Wiek and the headland of Cape Arkona.

At the south-eastern end of a crescent-shaped land bridge on the Wittow peninsula lies the idyllic town of Glowe. The former fishing village was first mentioned in a document in 1314 and impresses with an almost nine-kilometre-long beach.

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The oldest town on the island is Garz. Although the small town with about 2300 inhabitants looks more like a village. Here, a mighty castle wall is a reminder that Rügen was once ruled by Slavic princes.

Tip: The “Rasender Roland” is the oldest narrow-gauge railway in Germany. The historic traditional train connects the Baltic Sea resorts and leads interested visitors to the most beautiful places on the island.

Idyllic and far away from any hustle and bustle – the magical island world of Rügen

Islands, peninsulas and bays give what is perhaps the most beautiful German Baltic Sea island its characteristic shape.

The small Jasmund Bodden separates the Jasmund peninsula from the island centre. Like a fortress, the Jasmund peninsula juts out into the Baltic Sea . Its striking chalk cliffs have become the landmark of the National Park of the island of Rügen. The Königsstuhl is the most famous vantage point of the 8-kilometre-long chalk coast with a natural platform at a height of 117 metres. The most famous chalk cliffs are “Große Stubbenkammer” and “Kleine Stubbenkammer”.

Rügen, Göhren
The beach of Göhren, Image: LaMiaFotografia / shutterstock

Many interesting architectural monuments are located in Germany’s North Cape. Today, there are two lighthouses at Cape Arkona, of which the 19-metre-high, square Schinkel Tower was built according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Worth seeing are the naval command bunker and the Künstlerhaus. Not far away are the remains of the double ring wall of Jaromarsburg from the 6th century.
If you visit Rügen, you have to set foot on the island of Hiddensee. West of the island of Rügen, the romantic island enchants with the legacy of the last ice age. If you are looking for originality, the car-free island is the right place for you.

Between Rügen and Hiddensee lies the island of Ummanz. Here, too, things are tranquil. A 250-metre-long bridge leads from the Lieschow peninsula to the island, which is almost 20 square kilometres in size. The species-rich flora and small animals make this region an ideal resting place for migratory birds. In spring and autumn, Ummanz is particularly lively when the cranes make a stopover on their way north. While nature lovers particularly appreciate the Crane Island, water sports enthusiasts enjoy a surfer’s paradise near Suhrendorf. The wide lagoon landscape in the northwest of Rügen offers the best relaxation in harmony with nature.

Rügen is home to countless treasures and is a paradise for culture enthusiasts, water sports enthusiasts and those seeking relaxation – the island is indeed a magical symphony in blue and white.

More information about Rügen can be found on Wikipedia.